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    10 TV Characters Who Actually Seem Like They're Great With Money (And 10 Who Don't)

    You know Leslie Knope could find her way around a budgeting spreadsheet.

    Between paying your bills on time, building up an emergency fund, and setting aside money for extra things, staying on top of your finances can be a challenge.

    CBC / Via

    Since we often look to TV for real-life relatability, we're rounding up characters with budgeting potential (and characters who manage their money poorly, too). It turns out we can learn a thing or two about saving money from diner owner Luke Danes — and how not to use a credit card from columnist Carrie Bradshaw. 

    Do your favorite characters save their receipts? These 10 fictional faces strike us as the type to manage their hard-earned money well:

    *Beware! Spoilers ahead*  

    1. Johnny Rose (Schitt’s Creek)

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    While it would be wise to stay far away from Alexis, David, or Moira regarding financial matters, I'd trust my life savings to Johnny Rose. Not only is he a businessman, but after being defrauded and losing the family fortune, Johnny makes do with a very "Schitty" situation. Throughout the series, we see him stretch what little money is left for the good of the family, and he tries to remain positive in the face of a serious crisis. His hard work pays off when he is able to rebrand and renovate the Rosebud Motel.

    2. Leslie Knope (Parks & Recreation)

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    Organized and goal-oriented, Pawnee’s fearless leader would undoubtedly be a top-notch budgeteer. Sure, she probably isn’t earning the salary of her Eagleton counterpart for most of the series, but we can see Leslie and her husband, Ben Wyatt, following their budget to a tee — except for when Ben treats himself to full-sized superhero costumes. Plus, we know their future holds three children and advancing in their government careers. They probably have some good investments going!

    3. Luke Danes (Gilmore Girls)

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    Behind his baseball caps and flannel wardrobe, Luke Danes strikes us as a budgeting extraordinaire. Lorelai's love interest might own a modest diner in the middle of small-town Stars Hollow, but he's clearly making the right money moves. Remember when Luke bought the old Twickham house? Or when he helped Sookie and Lorelai with a $30,000 loan for the Dragonfly Inn? The guy is low-key loaded.

    4. Jane Villanueva (Jane the Virgin)

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    Responsible and smart, Jane would definitely be a budgeting type of gal. She's passionate about her career, family-oriented, and has the resilience to face a lot of extremely dramatic situations. In between being a mom, writing, and dealing with Sin Rostro, Jane probably has her savings account on automatic deposit so that it's one less thing to think about.

    5. Schmidt (New Girl)

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    From his refined decorating taste ("Pine has no place in this loft!") to his impeccable fashion ("I can’t find my driving moccasins anywhere!"), Schmidt is an unforgettable presence on New Girl. We can assume he spends a portion of his paycheck on hair products, but Schmidt also seems the type to take pride in making his money go far. There are multiple accounts of Schmidt fretting over roommate Nick Miller's poor financial choices, and we can totally see him becoming obsessed with stocks and bonds later in life.

    6. John B. (Outer Banks)

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    OK, hear us out. Considering John B. is without parents, on the run from the law, and hanging around with a bunch of rebellious Pogues, he probably hasn't had much money to manage. With a massive pile of gold calling his name, there's a potential that John B. will get some budgeting practice very soon. As the resident good guy of Outer Banks, he will probably distribute the treasure amongst his friends and wisely save much of it for his future. (Yes, we know this is speculation!)

    7. Chidi Anagonye (The Good Place)

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    Upon entering the Good Place (which is really the Bad Place), it doesn't take long to see that Chidi has an obsession with ethics. While his ponderings of morality don't always equate to doing the right thing, it's clear that Chidi spent much of his earthly life following the rules. We're guessing that before entering the afterlife, he kept all his receipts. And logged them. Obsessively.

    8. Chandler Bing (Friends)

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    Friends is notorious for its characters' poor financial decisions. While Monica's personality type fits the mold of being the most responsible, she is the one to bet her entire apartment and admit to having no savings after getting fired from her job. The best budgeter of the crew is instead Chandler, who seems to be most steady with his money management. We can assume he's built up a rainy day fund because he consistently loans Joey money, has savings in place for his wedding to Monica, and doesn't spend too much on frivolous things. He does enjoy his daily cup of coffee from Central Perk though. We can't fault him for that.

    9. Claire Fraser (Outlander)

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    Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ, is there anything Claire Fraser can't do? We don't get much insight into Claire's finances, but the girl is the definition of a go-getter. She's traveled through time, been a war nurse, and saved her 18th-century Scotsman friends from countless situations throughout Outlander. If she were to travel to 2021, Claire would probably be saving her hard-earned money as a top-tier doctor.

    10. The Mandalorian (The Mandalorian)

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    "Budgeting is the way..." That's how the saying goes, right? As a bounty hunter, the Mandalorian might not seem like he's the responsible type, but the potential is there. He's taken on the task of caring for Grogu (also known as "The Child" or "Baby Yoda" for those less invested in the series), which is a serious #dadvibe. Now that there's another mouth to feed, Mando is probably building up that rainy day fund of imperial credits.

    And now 10 TV characters who are a little less financially savvy...

    1. Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City)

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    Fashion inspiration? Definitely. Financial inspiration? Not so much. Carrie Bradshaw may be fabulous, but she has gone down in history as one of the most financially irresponsible TV characters ever. Her overspending ranges from endless cab rides to limitless cosmos and, of course, a designer shoe collection. So, what happens when Carrie faces money issues? *Insert credit card or friend bailout here*

    2. Michael Scott (The Office)

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    If you've ever seen a single episode of The Office, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Dunder Mifflin Scranton's commander in chief isn't the wisest when it comes to finances. In fact, Michael Scott might be the only person, fictional or otherwise, to proudly announce to his colleagues, "I declare bankruptcy!" Enough said.

    3. Wanda (WandaVision)

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    After entrapping an entire suburb in an alternate universe, Wanda might need to brush up on her financial skills. Not only did her fake world lapse through multiple decades (we’re guessing she wasn’t thinking about finances as a 1950s housewife), but Wanda unknowingly brainwashed everyone in town. Do you pay for groceries if you’re controlling the mind of the cashier? Either way, we wouldn’t bet a dollar on Wanda being any good with real-life money.

    4. Joe Goldberg (You)

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    Joe might hold a job and have savings, but we're not convinced he isn't going to wipe out every dollar fleeing the country, changing his identity, or, you know, renting out a storage unit to trap his next victim. At this point, the security of his finances is not looking great.

    5. Hannah Horvath (Girls)

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    Some might regard HBO's Girls as an updated Sex and the City. If this is true, protagonist Hannah Horvath is the younger, more disastrous Carrie Bradshaw — without the Manolo Blahniks and with plenty of millennial-style self-loathing. Hannah is a mess when it comes to everything: She's insecure, uncertain about her career, even more uncertain in relationships, and not quite sure where she fits in the world. It's safe to say that Hannah hasn't gotten the hang of money management yet either.

    6. Frank Gallagher (Shameless)

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    Besides being the Worst Father of the Year, Frank Gallagher leaves most of the grocery shopping and bill paying to his kids so that he can spend his not-so-hard-earned money on alcohol. Throughout Shameless, most of Frank's income comes from unemployment, insurance fraud, or other scams. 

    7. Emily Cooper (Emily in Paris)

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    Marketing strategists will be the first to tell you — the industry isn't all selfies and croissants like Emily Cooper would have you think! There are several unrealistic aspects of Emily in Paris, and the titular character's budget is one of them. The show's creator, Darren Star, is best known for Sex and the City, so it shouldn't be surprising that Emily traipses around Paris via cab, sporting pricey fashion and indulging in a luxurious lifestyle. If Emily were living in the real world, she would accrue some serious debt! 

    8. Frankie Bergstein (Grace and Frankie)

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    We stan the legend that is Frankie Bergstein for many reasons, but healthy money management is not one of them. The free-spirit hippie does pursue a number of business ventures, such as the Rise-Up Toilet, but tends to stir up trouble when she gets involved with the finances. Frankie's strengths lie in the creativity of her inventions with Grace, but she's not who we would go to for money advice.

    9. Susie Meyerson (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

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    Midge Maisel's right-hand woman might be a marvelous manager — just not when it comes to money. While Susie has dedicated her entire existence to booking Midge's comedy shows and ensuring their tours run smoothly, Season 3 shed light on Susie's gambling problem. The duo hit their stride and finally found success, only to have all of their earnings lost by Susie. Yikes!

    10. Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)

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    Being rich doesn't equal being good with money — or Westerosi currency for that matter. The Lannisters might always pay their debts (which, to be honest, is pretty good financial advice), but Tyrion is a far cry from financially responsible. While he's one of the best TV characters of all time and utterly brilliant, most of his inherited riches go to drinking and meeting women.

    Now it's your turn! Which TV characters would you take money tips from? Tell us who and why in the comments!

    And for more stories about life and money, check out the rest of our personal finance posts!

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